How your lawn equipment is harming the environment

(BPT) – Spring is upon us and our yards are beginning to bloom. The grass needs to be cut, the hedges trimmed and the debris blown away. This is an exciting time of year as we all look forward to getting outdoors after a longer than desired winter season. As we begin our list of warm-weather chores, is it possible that our lawn equipment is actually harming the environment? Unfortunately, the answer could be yes, depending on the type of equipment you’re using to keep your lawn in tip-top shape. If you’re still using gas-powered outdoor gear, here are some …

8 simple things you can do at home to improve indoor air quality

(BPT) – A clean house always looks and feels good. But did you know a clean environment goes a long way toward keeping you and your family healthy? For starters, dust holds dander and pollen, which explains why dust so easily triggers an allergy attack. But common household dust contains other bad stuff you just wouldn’t want to breathe in, such as 45 kinds of toxic chemicals used in consumer products, according to a study by George Washington University. Exposure to these chemicals is linked to cancer, hormone changes, developmental problems and more. “This does sound quite alarming, but it underlines …

What Is Better—Recycled or Natural?

Is it better to choose materials made of recycled content or raw, natural materials when selecting products for your home? What came first, the chicken or the egg? A lot of designers and experts will agree that in most projects, there is a need for both types of materials. Natural hardwoods from the Forest Stewardship Council on the first floor, recycled content fiber carpet on the second; recycled content, high performance fabric sofas with organic down cushions; and so on. There is no blanket, one-size-fits-all when it comes to building products and design products for your home. The smartest way …

Exploring Green Interiors – Design Ideas Borrowed from Sustainable Design

One of the basic tenets of sustainable design is reduce, reuse, recycle. However, we often see residential projects—both new construction and renovations—that ignore this basic principle. The U.S Green Building Council estimates nearly 30 percent of the waste generated in the United States is from the construction industry with half of the nearly 325 millions tons of waste coming directly from residential construction. These figures are staggering and, sadly, are only one side of the puzzle. We haven’t even quantified the emissions or energy needed to power these homes after they are built nor have we looked at Life Cycle …

6 ways to revive your home with essential oils

(BPT) – Essential oils, highly concentrated essences of plants, have the power to improve our lives, revive our spaces and boost our mood, whether it’s through diffusing them to add a fresh scent to the kitchen, creating a spa-like oasis in your bathroom or whipping up DIY cleaning products to use all over your home. “How we care for the everyday spaces we live in impacts our well being,” said Charlynn Avery, an aromatherapist and educator for Aura Cacia, a company that sources and sells essential oils. “It’s all about the power of positive change. Clean, synthetic-free living is good …

Outdoor Living Downtown – Vertical Gardening & More

        To say Nashville is changing would be an understatement. Vertical, residential developments are becoming the new norm as more and more people want to live in downtown, urban environments. The shift has inspired us to focus on outdoor living for everyone, not just homeowners with under utilized screened porches. Here are our top 3 tips for outdoor living, urban dweller edition!   Terrace/Patio Gardens As we see more and more Nashville high rise buildings go up, we think it’s high time we paid attention to vertical living and the implications it has on urban living. If …

Keep your home pest free this year

Now is a great time to establish year-long goals and resolutions, including home improvement goals you’d like to tackle this year. The first step is to create a pest control plan for your home. It’s important to establish good habits early in the year to help prevent potential pest problems. Unchecked, pests can wreak havoc in your home, but there are several steps homeowners can take to help avoid an infestation and keep their home safe and their family happy. Sanitize Clean your kitchen, pantry and any other places where food is stored. Remove crumbs and wipe up sticky drink …

Save Money Through Energy Efficiency

As much as half of the average homeowner’s monthly utility expenses go toward cooling and heating, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). For many households, that makes energy the largest home-related expense each month, next to a mortgage payment. Fortunately, numerous technological advances are making it easier than ever to manage home energy use. In fact, the DOE estimates you can save as much as 10 percent a year on energy costs by simply adjusting the temperature up or down when you’re away during the day. Installing a programmable thermostat that never forgets to adjust on a busy …

5 tips to clean your home – and save the planet

Log onto almost any news website and in just a few clicks you’ll probably come across some story about the environment. Whether it involves international agreements, alternative energy sources or fuel-efficient cars, the discussion is often abstract and far removed from our everyday lives. Consumers want to know what they can do and how they can contribute to making a cleaner, greener planet. Minor changes can make a significant difference, particularly with cleaning your home. You can trade in harsh chemicals and wasteful cleaning products for sustainable methods that are just as clean, if not cleaner. Here are five ways …

Smart home update 2018: New products that organize your life through voice

The artificial intelligence that’s already taking the world by storm is ramping up even more in 2018, enabling a number of innovative new smart home tools that can make your life easier, more comfortable or just more fun. Throughout the year, consumers worldwide are expected to spend $102 billion on hardware, services and installation related to smart home systems, an amount expected to ramp up to $157 billion by 2022. The number of connected things installed in smart cities by next year? Nearly 1.1 billion, predicts Statista. Increasingly, people will enjoy the convenience of being able to monitor and control their surroundings with …